Property owner lists single San Francisco parking spot for sale for $90,000

Spots in city have sold for even more

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 14 September 2022 02:05 BST
San Francisco begins the school year with teacher shortage

Even for San Francisco, it’s an eye-poppingly expensive listing. It’s not a luxury condo with a view of the bay. It’s a parking spot.

In March, a property owner put their parking space up for sale for $90,000, advertising the automotive real estate as a safe place to park a car, just a block from Oracle Park, the home of the San Francisco Giants.

“If you’re going to spend $200,000 on some luxury vehicle, why not spend $90,000 on somewhere safe to keep it?” Bill Williams, the real estate agent marketing the plot, told the Los Angeles Times.

The spot sits in a garage underneath a condo in the city’s South Beach neighbourhood. Ten years ago, its owners purchased it for $85,000, and are now looking to sell the petite piece of property after moving to New York. Prospective buyers would also be on the hook for about $1,800 in taxes and homeowners association fees.

On one hand, the $90,000 price is astronomical — nearly the median income of single-individual households in San Francisco, or the equivalent of buying a few hours of meter parking a day for 30 years — but it’s not even that shocking to those who know real estate in the famously expensive city.

“I cannot say it’s typical but I have seen it,” Alan Martinez, a real estate agent with The Deason Group at Vanguard Properties in San Francisco, told the San Francisco Chronicle. “No matter how transit friendly the city can be, people still see value in having a vehicle in a big city.”

He’s seen spots go for as much as $150,000.

In fact, a neighbouring space in the same garage sold for $90,000 in 2019, after selling for $82,000 in 2013.

Despite the sky-high prices, researchers say San Francisco actually has a glut of spots.

A 2022 San José State University study found that the Bay Area has 15 million parking spots, with nearly two spots per person, and enough spaces that, if they were stacked end-to-end, they would wrap around the Earth 2.3 times.

“There’s a disconnect between our progressive social and environmental values and how much land we actually devote to driving and storing cars,” Laura Tolkoff, one of the authors of the parking census, told the San Francisco Examiner. “It should come as no surprise that two-thirds of Bay Area residents drive alone to work and for almost all of their daily needs.”

Even even one per cent of the region’s parking area was turned into housing, it would free up 12,000 units, while shifting 5 per cent could create nearly 70,000, the study found.

San Francisco consistently ranks among the most expensive housing markets in the country.

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